Joe Pesci celebrated the 30th anniversary of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York by sharing his memories of the making of People magazine.
And while he says he knew the sequel would have “the same, if not more, energy and enthusiasm as the original,” he ended up suffering from his craft, too.
“In addition to the expected bumps, bruises and general aches and pains one would associate with this particular brand of physical humor, I sustained serious burns to my head during the scene where Harry’s hat is set on fire,” he said Pesci People in an interview published on Tuesday.
But he said he’s been “lucky enough to have professional stuntmen do the really hard stunts.”
Pesci won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1991 for Goodfellas and proved his comedic skills in Easy Money (1983) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). But he recalled that the production of the booby-trapped Home Alone franchise was far more demanding.
“It was a nice change to do this particular brand of slapstick comedy. But the Home alone Movies were a more physical type of comedy, so a little more challenging,” Pesci told People, adding that the sequel has “more spontaneity and creativity on set” than the first.
The first two films, directed by Chris Columbus, star Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a young Chicago boy whose family unknowingly abandons him for the Christmas holidays. In the New York-based sequel, Kevin reunites with Harry (Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), his thieving nemesis from the original.
“I remember Macaulay was a really sweet kid and very professional even at his age,” Pesci told People. “I intentionally limited my interactions with him to preserve the dynamic between his character Kevin and my character Harry.”
Pesci’s efforts to “maintain the integrity of the adversary relationship,” as he put it, may have worked a little too well. Culkin told Conan O’Brien in 2004 that Pesci actually really bit him during a rehearsal for the first film and that he still has a scar on his finger.
“He broke the skin and all!” Culkin told O’Brien, who asked if Culkin was angry about that at the time. “Yeah, I did! I got really mad at him. I was like, ‘I don’t care how many Oscars you have! You’re biting a 9-year-old, what the hell is wrong with you?'”
While some fans would love to see her return for another Home Alone movie, Culkin appears to have retired from acting entirely. Pesci himself only briefly returned to the industry in 2019 for his Oscar-nominated role in “The Irishman,” and he has little faith that a new installment of “Home Alone” would make sense (not that that’s put people off to try).
“Although one never says never, I think it would be difficult to reproduce not only the success but the overall innocence of the originals,” Pesci told People. “It is a different time now; Attitudes and priorities have changed in 30 years.”